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The Hottest Ever: David “DomBeef” Christian on becoming the hottest, and nicest, creator in NYC

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David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince

David Christian, known to most as DomBeef online, is a martial artist, content creator, and model who has crafted a personal brand that mixes sweet and sexy – and clearly hits a (good) nerve with the gay male population. With over 1 million followers across platforms, David has grown his career to expand his creative freedom as an artist, and he’s set his sights on what’s next.

So.Gay sat down with David to chat about his rise to internet fame, the pros and cons of New York City and Miami’s gay scenes, how he selects his content collabs, and what 2024 has in store for him.

And, if you couldn’t tell – we have brand new, exclusive, and stunning images with David for our July 2024 The Hottest Ever digital cover. Do we even have to say why he was chosen as So.Gay’s latest The Hottest Ever cover star?

Scroll down to see our full photo shoot and read our interview feature with David.

So.Gay: Tell me the origin story of the DomBeef that we know today – I believe you began to go viral during COVID, right?

David Christian: Yes! During that time I was working a corporate job in [New] Jersey, living by myself in a studio apartment. I feel like all [of] those restrictions had made it especially lonely during the already depressing winter. I visited my parents, who were living in Miami at the time, and it revived me! Miami was open so I was able to spend time with family and venture into the gay nightlife there as well. I quit my job and I moved two weeks later! That’s when I met my boyfriend [at the time] and he actually was the one who gave me the idea to start OnlyFans. Once I dyed my hair blue, everyone online said I looked like Maluma, so that was my first viral moment! Shout out to Maluma!

David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince

So.Gay: As you mentioned, you previously lived in Miami – what are the differences, pros, and cons between Miami and NYC gay cultures?

David Christian: Miami is amazing and the party never stops there. Miami has the underlying latin flavor that feels like you’re in another country. And you feel it with the nightlife. Believe it or not, it’s a smaller scene there in comparison to NYC. In NYC, there is more diversity. NYC nightlife reminds me of that ‘Mean Girls’ cafeteria scene. There is a space for everyone here. 

Miami’s pro: THE MEN! I love Latino men. *laughs* 

Miami’s con: It doesn’t stop, there is always a festival going on that can get you into trouble if you don’t know how to give your self some rest. 

NYC’s pro: The diversity! 

NYC’s con: Nothing comes to mind.

David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince

So.Gay: I think many people assume that models, or hot guys in general, aren’t friendly, but you are incredibly sweet and nice in person! How do you feel when you connect with your fans in person at events and parties?

David Christian: THANK YOU! I feel [as though] I view myself as a person at equal value as anyone else. The lame, corny “we’re all special in our own way” mentality really strikes me because online fame is elusive and too intangible for me to take it too seriously. My accounts can go “poof” tomorrow and if I valued myself as more than, or treated people with no following as “less than,” then what would that make me? 

I treat people who appreciate my work as just people giving me props or my flowers. Good energy received, good energy back. 

David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince

So.Gay: OnlyFans is now rightfully respected as a business by much of the population – What does OnlyFans mean to you as a part of your overall career?

David Christian: It really changed my life. I always was a h*rny bastard, so why not monetize it! I was nervous about what family would think at first but then my mom called me and made a joke about me becoming a stripper to pay for her boob job, so that’s when I actually told her! My OnlyFans career has given me so much time and financial freedom to travel, work on my hobbies, practice my martial arts. I don’t know if I’ll do it forever but I’m happy that it is becoming more mainstream!

David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince

So.Gay: What do you look for in another OnlyFans model when collaborating?

David Christian: Okay first thing I look at is: “am I attracted to this person?” I have found [that] my best content is with people I’m genuinely into, regardless of the “marketing” details, like following or engagement. I’ve come to learn that not all people in this industry are nice or good people that I want to be associated with down the line so you have to be really selective. 

David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince

So.Gay: You have a deep partnership with Nasty Pig. How has your relationship with the brand evolved and grown?

David Christian: I adore them. I was actually introduced to the brand through my boyfriend (Airik Prince) who also works closely with them. He let me borrow some Nasty Pig underwear when we first met and then he was like, “Actually you should let me take some photos of you, I feel like you’d be the perfect model for them!” They are such an amazing to team to work with, so I’m thankful! Over the last 4 years we have worked together, traveled together, partied together…. been to the White House together! They are family at this point.

David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince

So.Gay: You were just a part of Honey Dijon’s latest video shoot, you hosted countless incredible parties during NYC Pride, you’re always creating stunning new content – what does 2024 have in store for you?

David Christian: 2024! Definitely lots of more traveling. I’m also in the works of organizing a self defense class geared towards the LGBT community. I feel some of us are deemed easy targets just for expressing ourselves. I hate seeing news of hate crimes and if I could do something to prevent just one gay man or another trans woman from being a victim, I could honestly die happy.

Follow David Christian on Instagram @DomBeeef

David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince

So.Gay Launches at Bar Cima with the Hottest Pride Party Ever

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The newest LGBTQ publication, So.Gay, officially launched this weekend at Bar Cima in New York City 

On Sunday, June 16th, Alex Hughes, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Hughes Brand Group, officially launched the publishing house’s new magazine, So.Gay. The event took place at the rooftop of the Grayson Hotel, where partygoers gathered at the newly opened Bar Cima, enjoying stunning views of NYC.

The evening attracted some of the queer community’s top models, stylists, actors, singers, editors, social media creators, designers, publicists, and photographers. Guests savored expertly crafted cocktails and wine prepared by Bar Cima’s mixologists, with beverages provided by sponsors SVEDKA, Mi Campo Tequila, and La Crema Wine.

A few of the attendees were Pose Actor Ryan Jamaal Swain, social media creators Chris Stanley, Jae Gurley, Art Bezrukavenko, John Dombrowski, Ian Crumm, Serena Shahidi, and Nasim Lahbichi, designers Jesus Gutierrez and Sergio Aragon of Gay Pride Apparel, photographers Devin Kasparian and Sam Kang, nightlight icon Evan Kline, Instagram executive CJ Hernandez, and editors Sam Olson of Cosmo, Chris Bull of Queerty and Aaron Royce of The Daily Front Row. 

The evening also included a handful of So.Gay campaign and editorial faces such as Designer Lucas Stowe, Influencer Max Rutcofsky, Creative Director, Photographer and Stylist Airik Prince, Publicist and Creative Matthew Cancel, Writers Gibson Johns and Jamie Valentino, Models Anthony Eugene and David Alcocer, Stylist Dylan Wayne, and Social Media Creator Jean Paul Miliano

Guests were treated to a beautiful photo studio by Troy Hallahan (link here), house photography by Alizayuh (link here), and incredible DJ set by P_A_T. 

“I’m so thrilled to celebrate So.Gay’s launch party with our first in-person event in partnership with Bar Cima, Svedka, Mi Campo, and La Crema. This weekend’s event brought So.Gay’s mission to life by bringing together tastemakers, creators, influencers, talent, and community members to celebrate LGBTQ+ culture – with the best venue, music, drinks, and crowd imaginable. So.Gay has had significant audience growth and cultural buzz since launch, and this is just the beginning.” – Alex Hughes, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of So.Gay

Check out some of our favorite photos from So.Gay’s launch party below!

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Photo Credit: Troy Hallahan for So.Gay’s Launch Party
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Photo Credit: Troy Hallahan for So.Gay’s Launch Party

Exclusive premiere: Pop prince Mint Simon’s new single and music video for ‘BAD’

Mint Simon, the solo project of the front person of indie-pop band, Caveboy, has gained increasing notoriety with the premiere of recent pop projects including ‘Lost My Mind‘.

Today, Mint is premiering their newest single, ‘BAD’ exclusively with So.Gay – you can (and should!) add the track to your Spotify and Apple Music here, and check out the video below.

We sat down with Mint to learn more about their latest release, personal style and more. Read our interview with Mint below.

So.Gay: Congratulations on the premiere of your latest song and music video! Tell us more about ‘BAD’.

Mint Simon: Thank you! I’m so excited to release my pop-iest song to date. ‘BAD’ was written from a place of hearing whispers of people talking about me. Whether it’s good or bad, it feels like the gossip train has been long and nuanced and found its way under my skin. And then I was like… no, no. This is not mine. I reminded myself that they’re probably just uncomfortable by my comfort – so I wrote about leaning into it, my reputation era, being unabashedly myself, and not giving a f*ck. I believe queer people need to be celebrated right now and I’m celebrating myself and my community, even & especially when we’re labeled as ‘bad’. 

I teamed up with awesome queer producer, Kayla Diamond, who really gets my 80/90s/2000s vibe and we instantly knew we captured something magical together. Disco strings? Dance beat? In your face vocals? I’m really proud of this song. 

You think I’m BAD? Let me show you how BAD.

So.Gay: Your visuals for your music videos are really incredible – Not only your new premiere, ‘BAD’, but also your cover of ‘You Get What You Give’ and I especially love ‘Lost My Mind’ – What is your creative process for bringing your artistry to life via music videos?

Mint Simon: Honestly, I love visuals and videos. I know it’s become a bit of a lost art, but I grew up on music videos – so connecting each song to some kind of version of one has been really important to me. For the most part, something super nostalgic will pop into my head and the world of the song will reveal itself. But this one? I just couldn’t figure it out. It wasn’t until I found my stepdad’s old handy-cam and took my basketball out of winter hiding that it hit me.

My solo project is a vehicle to live out the youthful parts of myself I couldn’t live out in my actual youth (90s ‘tomboy’ shame, closeted trans kid), and it’s a love letter to who I always was on the inside but couldn’t be on the outside. A ’90s/early 2000s handy-cam video of a classic jock boy, and breaking into an abandoned gym felt like the perfect way to connect to my teenage self. With help from costume queen @kayleighmagazine & choreography queen @maralaz we captured the quintessential ‘bad boy’ in your favorite ’90s romcom. I wanted to uncover the cheeky, fun, make-you-a-little-uncomfortable essence of what ‘BAD’ feels like to me. 

So.Gay: I love your style — it’s very ’80s, ’90s heartthrob. What makes the perfect Mint Simon outfit?

Mint Simon: I think in the ‘real world’ you’ll see me dressing either like Chandler/Ross/Joey all in one, or confuse me for a teenage boy who does sports. A classic Mint look usually features some kind of ribbed tank, denim, and on a spicy day, I love me a leather pant. I also love a button down that’s far from buttoned up enough. Also, from now on, my pronouns are heart/throb, thank you!

So.Gay: What other LGBTQ+ musical artists are you listening to right now?

Mint Simon: I’m a pop girlie. I got really into Chappell Roan in the fall of last year and it’s been so great seeing her career take off. ‘Casual’ was on repeat for me for a while (still is), now I’m adding in Billie’s ‘Lunch’, and some pals like Tafari Anthony, and D.W. Waterson ft. T Thomason’s new single ‘Bodylimit’. 

So.Gay: What can we expect from you for the rest of 2024?

Mint Simon: Releasing all these new singles leads up to an EP and honestly, I’m so excited about putting out a body of work. I can’t wait to keep sharing new music and get on stage as much as I can. I’m in a place of having planted a lot of seeds, so I’m gonna move wherever those little seedlings start to grow. It’s an exciting (and dare I say serendipitous) time where anything can happen and that’s what’s keeping me on fire. Real ready to see what happens next. 

You can check out Mint’s new single, ‘BAD’, and follow them on Instagram here.

The Hottest Ever: Matthew Cancel is opening the doors for a new era of “short” male modeling

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Matthew Cancel wearing Bottega Veneta top, and Stylist’s own pants

Interview and article by Alex Hughes, Photography by Troy Hallahan, Styling by Dylan Wade, and Hair, Makeup, and Grooming by Stevie Barbieri

Matthew Cancel is an NYC wunderkind, making a name for himself in the world of PR, and has leveraged his attention-grabbing social media to make a growing play into the world of male modeling. Matthew seamlessly translates fashion and style trends into easily-digestible moments across platforms, while providing his own unique spin. We sat down with Matthew as he celebrates his birthday month in true Aries fashion, with a photo shoot, and talked with the self-described “short” model about everything from the current media landscape, his Instagram ‘Close Friends’, and the secret to being a successful publicist.

Read our feature with Matthew Cancel below, including our full photoshoot.

So.Gay: I haven’t seen you in person in a while, but I feel like I see you because I keep up with you on your Instagram stories. What have you been up to over the last few months and what have you been up to this year? I know you’re trying some different things.

Matthew Cancel: Yeah, you know, it’s been crazy. Mostly it’s building my agency, making sure that that’s still stable and up and running, which has been great. It’s making sure that everything is a working machine without any of the kinks.

The modeling thing has been different, that’s been interesting, that’s been fun.

I think the media landscape right now is a little bit spooky. It’s different than when I did it 10 years ago, then when I started [my agency] three years ago, and now just where we are with the layoffs, and now magazines figuring out what they’re gonna be doing, what’s gonna be happening.

I think when I started [modeling] last year, I had a vision and I had kind of a dream that I wanted to bring to life, but I also had a purpose with it. It was around last May where I was like, okay, do I wanna go for this? Do I wanna do this? And if I do, what does it mean?

And using my PR brain, [I knew] this needs to be branded and this needs to be branded specifically and intentionally because I am aware that I am 5’7”, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think that’s actually an interesting point of view.

And when I looked at the male modeling landscape, that’s when I realized that there were just like so many gaps in the market.

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Matthew Cancel wearing Bottega Veneta top

And over the past 10 years, we’ve seen people like Paloma Elcesser and Teddy Quinlivan and Precious Lee and Ashley Graham and even Aaron Rose Philip pop up on the scene and we’ve seen none of that diversity translate into male modeling.

So when I started doing it last year, I was like, all right, let’s start with the Numero feature, which is super fun.

And that’s how it all kind of kicked off. And I was [thinking], let’s see what happens from there. And it was awesome.

It [became] an influx of different editors and stylists and photographers wanting to work with me.

And it was just about me organizing what it all meant and like organizing it in a way that I was like, okay, let’s shoot, but like, let’s not just do it for Instagram. If this photographer wants to work with me, let’s see if a magazine will work with us. And if the stylist wants to style me, okay, great. Let’s make sure that we have a proper team.

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Matthew Cancel wearing John Elliot set, Acne Studios tank top, and Doc Marten shoes

So.Gay: Tell me about your LA shoot with your friend, Michael.

Matthew Cancel: Yeah, Michael. That was a really cool one. So Michael and I have been friends for a while.

It’s funny, [similar to] a bunch of my social media friends, I always like follow them first before we’re friends, and then we’ll bump into each other at events, or I’ll have to work with them in like some capacity for work, whether it’s influencer marketing, or different things that brands need for social media creators.

Him and I met a couple of years ago via working with Instagram, [I] was always a fan of him, always thought he was super cool. And he and I are the exact same height. We’re both 5’7”.

I saw that he was popping off and doing a bunch of stuff on social and doing more modeling. So I was like, I think it would be really cool if we, you know, were to work together.

We started planning it and we brought a stylist onboard and a photographer. And that’s when Fault was like, oh, this is like a really cool idea.

So that was a big production. There were multiple locations. There were some really big brands that were attached to it, and that was really awesome.

And my perfect world and my vision is like me and a bunch of short male models will get to do this and recreate like some version of like the ‘90s supermodel moment. I don’t like to live in silo and I like to build my friends up with me.

And I’m like, let’s all do this together.

All day long, I’ve been kind of talking about like Gigi, Bella, Kendall, like that energy of like best friends supporting each other, wanting to all be creative together and wanting to support one another instead of like being competition with each other. And that was the idea behind that one.

So.Gay: It looks so good.

Matthew Cancel: Thank you.

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Matthew Cancel wearing John Elliot set and Acne Studios tank top

So.Gay: So you’re not a social media creator technically by profession, but honestly, you are. In a life as juicy as yours, how do you decide between what not to share, what to share, what to close friends? What are your boundaries? How do you think about it?

Matthew Cancel: First of all, I love this question. That’s like the funniest question I’ve ever been asked.

There are certain people that I have had on my Close Friends for like seven-ish years that have seen like the rise and fall and rise again of Matthew Cancel and all the behind the scenes that’s come with it. It’s very interesting to talk to those people because they don’t only get to see just the highlights, they’ve gotten to see the entire run, what’s really happening.

I would say that in my early 20s, it was very hard to decipher. I didn’t really know what was going on and I didn’t really know what to post. I’m the type of person where I have severe ADHD. So I love mania and I love seeing all different types of content 24/7.

I had to hone it in over the last couple of years. Let me curate this a little bit more.

Let me figure out what to highlight, what should be in private, maybe what should not be posted at all. And it’s interesting too, because I recently hired a social media strategist to help me with all of this. And his advice is actually to post as much as you can. He was like tons of reels, tons of in-feed posts, tons of TikToks.

And I’m like, I know, but I felt like in the past, when I posted that much, I got myself in trouble. And I kind of stuck my foot in my mouth.

And he was like: Okay, yes. But that amount of content does need to happen in order for you to grow. However, maybe it’s not you giving your hot take every three and a half seconds.

I have a lot to say, but the way that I kind of think about it now is like, if I’m gonna give this hot take, will I work with this person in a week from now?

Am I going to run into this person, this celebrity that I’m mouthing off about? Am I gonna run into them at Fashion Week next week? So that comes into play now.

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Matthew Cancel wearing John Elliot set and Acne Studios tank top

So.Gay: You know how to create a tasteful Thirst Trap. What goes into creating a great Thirst Trap?

Matthew Cancel: Honestly, treat it as if it’s like a full-blown real editorial.

That’s what I always say, and that’s how I treat it. I will sit there for maybe an hour and style it, be like, what do I wanna do? What do I want this to look like? What’s the final vision? And then to get the photo that I want, I won’t stop.

Spend your time with it, play with the lighting, play with different outfits.

I think that sometimes it’s like, okay, whatever, it’s just a selfie, this is fun, this is on Instagram. But I’ve gotten dates from thirst traps. I’ve gotten certain modeling things from thirst traps.

Certain thirst traps have gone viral and they’ve added like a thousand followers to my Instagram page.

So I take my time with it, I shoot, I then review the footage, I do a favorites folder, I add it to Tezza, I review it again.

So.Gay: That’s your favorite vacation spot right now?

Matthew Cancel: I went to Bermuda last year in May and I spent the day on the island at one point by myself.

Beach goes on for miles, there’s coves and mountains and all these like beautiful things and I literally just like walked around for eight hours and it was the most relaxing moment and I was like, this is better than Fire Island.

All of those things are fun sometimes but sometimes it’s nice to just like go and ground yourself and like look out into the sea and be like, we’re a speck in this world.

Bermuda last year was incredible.

I did go to Fire Island last summer with my friends and I stayed in a house a bunch of other creatives, editors, and social media people and that was really awesome too.

But no, since I left Bermuda, I keep thinking about it and like I wanna go back.

I kinda wanna go back on like a solo trip and literally just spend like seven days on Horseshoe Bay, forgetting about the world.

So.Gay: What clothing brands are filling up your closet right now?

Matthew Cancel: So I am really going for this sporty Ashton Kutcher from 2008 like hot boy in a rom-com vibe and I feel like the best brands for that are like Harley-Davidson. I’m obsessed with the way that their clothes fit. I have so much Harley-Davidson and their clothes are incredibly expensive by the way.

A lot of Harley-Davidson, I love The Row.

The way that their clothes fit are absolutely incredible.

I’m obsessed with Diesel, love Diesel.

Eckhaus Latta.

So I wore Eckhaus Latta for my Numero editorial and I’ve never had a pair of jeans fit better and they were having a sample sale on their website. So I just bought a bunch of Eckhaus Latta.

I really liked Luar too. I like the way that Luar’s jeans fit.

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Matthew Cancel wearing Stylist’s Own top and Nanushka pants

So.Gay: What are the best places to go out in New York right now?

Matthew Cancel: I don’t know if this sounds elitist or pretentious, but, I’m in my late 20s and I’ve been around the block a couple of times. I’ve been to every single gay bar in Manhattan and Brooklyn. I have to go to so many things for work.

You know, there are weeks, especially a Fashion Week or, you know, if I’m activating around Awards Season or The Met or if there’s a month like February and September where I have to go to a different thing every single night for two to three weeks straight, that is my outing for me, you know?

It’s open bar. It’s a room full of the chicest and coolest people you’ve ever seen in your life. You’re in the room with other creatives and colleagues and that to me is my going out.

My Friday and Saturday nights when I’m not working and I don’t have an event – I’m home or I’m going to dinner. Or I’m going to dinner with friends, but the club scene is not for me.

My friends in their early twenties and they drag me out to Playhouse and Rise from time to time. And it’s just not my thing anymore.

So.Gay: Do you have a favorite gay bar anywhere in the world?

Matthew Cancel: It’s kind of a [mess], but I liked how multifunctional it was. Twist in Miami Every other city besides New York has this giant Mecca gay club thing where it’s like multiple floors.

And I feel like that’s what the Q was trying to do. The Q was doomed from the beginning for a multitude of reasons. That just was never going to work out.

But I’ve been to Milan gay bars and it’s like the same kind of thing, Twist. I’ve been to gay bars in Montreal. I like this multi-level, multiverse almost where it’s like you go to different levels, different types of music, different types of people.

Those are always super cool, yeah.

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Matthew Cancel wearing Bottega Veneta top

So.Gay: Do you remember the first New York gay bar you ever went to in New York?

Matthew Cancel: Yes, I was 16 or 17 and it was incredibly short. I convinced one of my friends to sneak out. I think we told our parents we were going to Dunkin’ Donuts on a study date or something. We took a bus to New York City and during that time there were college nights.

We went to Splash and I remember we had a curfew and we had to be home by a certain time. We only had like 30 minutes there.

But I remember [thinking] this is incredible, this is amazing, I’m gonna revisit this one day. I think I’m gonna go to college in New York because I think I want to fully live out my fantasy here. And I think that was one of the catalysts of me choosing to go to college in New York City.

And what was awesome about going to college in New York City is they still had college nights.

So there used to be another bar Out – XL. That one did college nights every Tuesday. I remember one Tuesday they even brought Nick Jonas in.

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Matthew Cancel wearing Ludovic de Saint Sernin shirt and MSGM pants

So.Gay: Current male celebrity crush?

Matthew Cancel: Ashton Kutcher at 30-years-old.

Him in that era, I keep referencing it not only [for his] outfits, but also his hair. What is he doing with his face? What does his jaw structure look like?

That man was, he still is super gorgeous, but I keep revisiting it. All the boys nowadays are kinda like giving the same thing.

They fall into like the Timothee Chalamet group or like the Jeremy Allen White group and I feel like those two groups, like even like, no shade, but Jacob Elordi to me is a little bit boring.

Like what made Ashton Kutcher fun was that he had a personality.

He was silly, he was fun, he was camp, he was kind of a douchebag, but he had something to say for himself and I feel like, I don’t know, I feel like the heartthrobs and the rom-coms now are so safe.

He had a point of view. They were authentically themselves.

I kinda loved that in those movies, they were the authentic f**kboys with like no proper bedsheets and beer bottles all over the place because it was like, take it or leave it, you know?

So.Gay: Are you single, dating, or in a relationship?

Matthew Cancel: I am single. I’m very single.

Whenever I hear all my friends talking about dating and the apps and all the things, I’m like, I don’t feel the need to be doing any of that right now.

Like I don’t feel like I, A., have enough time to put into a relationship and B., it’s not of interest to me.

I think when you think of growing up, you think of, okay, I wanna be more stable. I wanna be financially independent. I want a great career and then for some reason, like a relationship always gets added to that, but I feel like it’s, it’s like having a dog.

Some people do, some people don’t. I don’t think you need to be in a relationship to be happy or live a fulfilled life.

And maybe I’ll change my mind one day and I think meeting the right person will definitely change that.

I feel like a lot of the guys I’m coming into contact with, lately I’m like, nothing in me wants to date you or further hang out with you or see a future with you.

29

Matthew Cancel wearing John Elliot set and Acne Studios tank top

So.Gay: What’s one secret to being a successful publicist?

Matthew Cancel: Doing publicity in the year that you’re living in.

I see day-in and day-out, 22-year-old pop stars with a 45-year-old white woman publicist doing PR as if it’s 2008 and Us Weekly is still relevant.

It’s really annoying on my end because I meet so many of these young, successful pop stars, actresses, whatever it is. And it’s almost not even their decision when they get hooked up with the white woman publicists because it’s they have the fifty-year-old white man who’s been working with this white woman publicist for 25 years and it’s just what it is.

And it’s like, no, you signed to her, that’s how it goes. And they don’t know any better.

Being aware of the year you’re actually living in and knowing how to reach Gen Z and Gen Alpha, and so many people are just doing PR as if it’s 2009, it’s kind of annoying and exhausting to watch.

So.Gay: So whether it’s modeling, your agency, everything else, what should we expect from you this year?

Matthew Cancel: I hope I get to do campaigns.

I think the conversation is slowly picking up. I think a lot of people are still scoffing at it. A lot of people are rolling their eyes. A lot of people are like, ugh, that’ll never happen. I think little by little people are starting to see the vision.

I think when I did the Numero piece, it opened my eyes to a lot of things.

Like when Eckhaus Latta said yes to lending and Luar said yes to lending and Devin Kasparian said yes to shooting. I was like, oh, like there are people that see this vision and understand that this representation is important.

And it’s kind of silly because it’s really not that interesting when you think about it. But then when you think about if anyone’s doing it and you’re like, oh wait, no, that’s when you kind of realize like, oh, okay, this does make a little bit of sense.

You can follow Matthew Cancel on Instagram at @matthewcancel

PHOTOS: Matthew Cancel stars in queer underwear brand Dominic Albano Collection’s new campaign

The new Dominic Albano Collection campaign stuns with model and publicist Matthew Cancel at its front.

The Dominic Albano Collection is a queer-owned underwear brand founded by former model, Dominic Albano. This is the first time the brand has had a campaign “face” outside of Dominic, (you can see here for the brand’s inaugural campaign featuring Dominic), and the first campaign to depart from the brand’s digital aesthetic.

This partnership is particularly significant for Matthew, as it marks his first campaign after a year of exclusively doing editorials and covers in magazines such as So.Gay, Numero Netherlands, Folie, 1883 Magazine, Fault Magazine and others. 

This campaign became a testament to the evolving landscapes of fashion, branding and social media, where the roles of publicist and model intersect, creating new and innovative narratives.

Check out all the pictures from the campaign below, and shop all the goods here.

Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection
Matthew Cancel for Dominic Albano Collection

PHOTOS: Every picture from our The Hottest Ever shoot with David “DomBeef” Christian

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Now that you’ve read our feature with our latest So.Gay The Hottest Ever cover star, David “DomBeef” Christian, we’ve got every single photo from our photoshoot with the star.

Scroll through the images below, and follow David Christian on Instagram @DomBeeef

David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince
David Christian for So.Gay, Creative Direction, Photography, and Styling by Airik Prince

So.Gay’s guide to sunscreen

Sun protection is undoubtedly important but, the options can be overwhelming. If you already have a routine, great, if not, we’re going to make this really simple and lay the facts out straight. Your healthy, dark spot-free skin from the future will thank you.

Why Do You Need To Wear Sunscreen?

Is this even a question? What?! Not only is skin cancer the most common cancer in the U.S., but the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) estimates that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Aside from this scary stat, the benefits of using sunscreen and reapplying daily are well documented – from protecting the skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays, preventing premature aging (fine lines and wrinkles), and protecting against skin damage in the form of hyperpigmentation. The AAD recommends using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for everyday use. Make sure to limit your sun exposure during peak daylight hours (10 am to 4pm) – slather and throw on your favorite hat.

Physical (Mineral) vs. Chemical Sunscreen 

There are an overwhelming amount of facial sunscreens to choose from but for the most part, they fall into two categories: physical (mineral) and chemical. Not to mention there’s also tinted and sheer options but those are more of personal coverage preference. Here’s a little more on the specifics of each type to help you choose the right one for you.

Physical Sunscreens

Physical sunscreens, which are also known as mineral sunscreens, sit on top of the skin and act as a shield against the sun’s harmful rays. This doesn’t mean that you don’t rub a physical sunscreen onto the skin until it is absorbed, rather, it just functions differently but still gets the job done. Physical sunscreens offer protection by reflecting UV radiation away from your skin. 

Some common ingredients in this type of sunscreen include: zinc oxide and titanium oxide. The only downside to these types of sunscreens is that they may be difficult to blend and leave behind a chalky, white cast to the skin. To avoid this, opt for tinted versions. They’re also not as water resistant, so be sure to be diligent about reapplying.

Some of So.Gay’s favorite physical sunscreens:

SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen ($42)

EltaMD UV Physical Tinted Sunscreen for Face, SPF 41 ($44)

CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($17)

Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens differ in that the active ingredients absorb UV rays rather than deflect them in the way physical sunscreens do. The active ingredients absorb harmful UV rays before the skin gets a chance to soak them in. Chemical sunscreens tend to blend into the skin much better and do not leave behind any residue, making them much more appealing to a wide range of skin tones. Some common ingredients in chemical sunscreens include: oxybenzone, avobenzone, and octisalate.

Some of So.Gay’s favorite chemical sunscreens:

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Invisible Broad Spectrum SPF 40 PA +++ ($38)

The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid Dewy Sunscreen SPF 30 ($15)

Naturium UV Reflect Antioxidant SPF 50 ($26)

Indoor vs. Outdoor

It’s pretty much a given at this point that you should be wearing sunscreen outside whether the sun is shining or not to protect yourself against harmful UV rays. Even during the wintertime, I might add. While the intensity of UV rays are not nearly as high as they are during the warmer months of the year, it’s still important to continue wearing sunscreen in the winter. Just because UV rays are not visible to the naked eye, it doesn’t mean they can’t continue to wreak havoc on your skin all year round. 

Always prepare for the unexpected when it comes to sun exposure. Sunscreen should be applied daily whether you’re sitting by the window or staring at a computer screen (which most of us are) for an extended period of time. In other words – sunscreen all day every day. 

PHOTOS: Queer designer Vincent Frédéric-Colombo’s C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 runway show

In June 2024’s Paris Men’s Fashion Week, queer Designer Vincent Frédéric-Colombo of label C.R.E.O.L.E. presented his SS’25 collection. Utilitarian workwear with exaggerated oversized silhouettes, English embroidery, and references to the pan-African spirit through a queer lens, comprise the collection.

Discussing the SS’25 collection, Designer Vincent Frédéric-Colombo said the following:

“Resilience sometimes opens up paths, especially in the most chaotic moments. ‘MAGMA 76’ highlights a dark, little-known episode in the history of the Guadeloupe archipelago: the eruption of Soufrière in 1976. It was the endless theater of trauma from the eruption of Mount Pelée and debates of opinions between experts and politicians in the face of a worried and lost population.”

C.R.E.O.L.E. the brand is a manifesto about the ‘Creole’ community/diaspora heritage and what it could be in the future. The brand questions the status of the typical men wardrobe to unisex codes through delicate techniques and work wear silhouette. The designer, Vincent Frédéric-Colombo, was born 1990 in Paris, and raised in Guadeloupe.

Below you can check out every image from C.R.E.O.L.E.’s SS’25 runway below. You can shop the brand and discover more at creole-official.com.

C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS'25 Runway
C.R.E.O.L.E. SS’25 Runway

You can shop the brand and discover more at creole-official.com.

So.Gay’s guide to getting abs

Look, we know you’ve Googled “how to get abs fast” at least once in your life. And while there’s plenty of articles that promise the one easy secret to getting a six pack, there’s no way to get abs overnight. Abs are difficult to attain, and definitely not a requirement for a hot bod. But, the good news is with regular exercise and a healthy diet, you can make it a lot easier to achieve a six pack in a sustainable way. 

Plus, beyond the aesthetic reason for wanting abs, a strong core can improve your posture, prevent injuries and reduce lower back pain—all of which are actually probably better reasons for strengthening your abdominal muscles than a photo opp

Of course, how easily and quickly you can climb to the top of Mount Six Pack depends on your current fitness level, body fat percentage, and we hate to say it but—genetics. 

Now, the real guide to getting a six pack involves three simple steps: diet, cardio, and core strengthening. Read on for an overview of how to implement them into your life and get the abs of your dreams. 

  1. Diet

A key ingredient in the recipe of a six pack is to lower your body fat percentage, which is done through a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit means consuming fewer calories than burned (“calories in, calories out”). But don’t mistake a calorie deficit for simply not eating enough. Your body still needs fuel. It’s about eating smart. 

Fitness experts recommend eating lean protein like pork, lamb, chicken, fish, dairy, nuts, seeds, and legumes. These foods will keep you full and help repair and rebuild muscle tissues. Of course, loading up on fruits and veggies is a great way to get nutrients and fiber

Also, replace refined carbs—like white bread, bagels, cereal, and white rice—with whole grains like barley, quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice, and popcorn. 

Broadly speaking, if you want to lower your body fat percentage, watch portion sizes and avoid overeating, carry healthy snacks to avoid consuming accessible junk food, and we know we don’t have to tell you this, but we will anyway: stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.

  1. Cardio

Cardio is also a huge help in lowering your body fat percentage, which can get you on the track to achieving a six pack. But there are lots of ways to do cardio, and not every kind of cardio is the best for getting abs. For example, high-intensity interval training (HIIT)—which involves alternating short periods of intense activity—is better than a long run at a stable pace. 

HIIT gives you maximal health benefits in minimal time. It gets your heart rate up, promotes fat loss, and boosts metabolism—and does so with a much smaller time commitment than traditional endurance exercise. 

HIIT workouts are accessible, effective and can be adjusted to suit anyone. There are tons of flexible fat-burning HIIT workouts for beginners and beyond, that can be done at the gym or at home. 

  1. Core Strengthening 

Building and strengthening your core is more than just a way to make your abs visible—core exercises can boost your metabolism, allowing you to burn calories even while you’re resting which ultimately can get you to a lower body fat percentage. Kind of a win-win-win. 

Also, building a strong core is more than just about your abdominal muscles, it includes your obliques and back muscles—all of which help you maintain balance and stability. This can make everyday movement easier, which can prevent injuries.

Finding your ideal ab workout frequency depends on a lot of factors including your current fitness level and recovery time, but generally 2-3 short ab workouts per week is a good starting point for most people. And remember, while workouts that challenge you are important to build a six pack, don’t forget the importance of a healthy and balanced diet and your overall fat-burning cardio exercises. 

Like HIIT workouts, there are plenty of effective and adjustable ab workouts that you can do with weights or your own body weight. Heel taps, leg lowers, and planks are all exercises that target the abs and use just your own body weight to do so—so you don’t even have to go to the gym to do them. 

But perhaps the most important factor in building a six pack is patience. You’re not going to wake up tomorrow with visible abs (unless you already have them in which case, congratulations). You start where you start, and you meet yourself where you’re at. Good luck, you got this. 

Lube, so confusing: A beginner’s guide to lubricants

There are countless different types of personal lubricants on the market and the large variety can cause confusion when determining which is best for you and for your situation. Lucky for you, we’ve created a guide to use the perfect lube no matter how you like to play. 

What is lube and why should you use it?

Lube is a substance intended to prevent unwanted friction during sex. For gay men, lube isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. The FDA considers personal lubricants as medical devices and for good reason too. When having anal sex, the anus doesn’t naturally produce lubricant leaving your hole at risk for tearing and risk of contracting an STI. 

So, what should you look for when purchasing lube? While there are many lubricant options none of your lube should contain propylene glycol, glycerin, parabens, alcohol, fragrance, or dyes as these can be harmful for your sexual parts. 

Besides that, the main factor depends on what kind of sex you’re in the mood to have. 

Natural lubes

Natural lubricant is produced naturally, so you’ll never run out of them. For men this can be saliva or pre-cum from the tip of the penis. Natural lubricant could be used for solo-sex like masturbation or mutual masturbation with a partner. 

Unfortunately, natural lubes tend to dry up quickly.

Water-based lubes

Water-based lubes are a step up from natural lube. They last longer than saliva and are great if you’re concerned about ingredients as water is typically the main ingredient. Plus, you can pair it with latex condoms or use it with your favorite sex toy. 

However, the water molecules in water-based lubes are small enough to quickly be absorbed through the skin leaving a sticky sensation. When using water-based lube you may have to reapply lube.

Silicone lubes

These are probably a gay man’s best friend considering how pleasurable silicone is for many people. This has to do with how silicone molecules are bigger than skin can absorb, so they sit on top of the skin providing a very slippery feeling that can feel great during anal sex. They also are safe for latex condoms and are great for shower sex if you’re up for it. 

Silicone lube is great for partnered play, but it’s not recommended to use with silicone sex toys. If you don’t know what kind of material your sex toy is, try spot testing before use to be sure it’s compatible. The last thing you want is for your sex toy to start breaking down in the middle of a session. 

Silicone lube can stain sheets, so just be sure to lay down a towel or cloth to avoid any unwanted stains.

Oil-based lubes

Oil-based lubes, such as baby oil or coconut oil, are long-lasting and very slippery. If giving a blowjob, hand job, eating ass, or even fisting is your preferred method to have sex this might be your new favorite lube. 

Oil is not safe for condoms; they eat away at latex condoms and are likely to cause yeast infections for people with a vagina. 

Be aware of the risks of oil-based lube, but if you want to help mitigate the risk even further, try to only use oil-based lube externally and avoid internal use.

Flavored lubes

Flavored lubes are great for people who want to have oral sex but might be looking to spice things up in the bedroom. They’re designed to taste good but also allow for penetration afterwards if needed.

Flavored lubes are also for individuals who might be concerned about the taste of sex but instead of choosing to feel self-conscious can mitigate this feeling by adding flavored lube to mask their natural taste.

Be aware of the flavored lubes you’re buying, ensuring they don’t have sugar which can be harmful when used internally. 

Key takeaways about lube

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all for lubes. It all depends on your personal comfort with lubes, the way(s) you like to get down, and the needs of your partner(s). Pleasure is subjective so have fun with it!

How a month in Paris redefined my understanding of sexuality

It’s a Friday night in the East Village, my first evening back in Manhattan after spending a month in the “city of love,” Paris. Muffled cheers rattle across brick-lined streets and rainbow lights shine through the windows of dive bars. 

A month prior, I was desperate to leave this neighborhood. Coping with the death of an unhealthy relationship, and the stress of publishing my first book, Paris, and the prospect of a fresh break in a foreign city, was supposed to be my catharsis. 

Destined for Europe, I enrolled in classes, and left May 22nd. My first few days in Paris, in conjunction with my dreams, were perfect. The shops were quaint, the drinks were cheap, and the bars were close to one another. Everything was beautiful. Even the sun didn’t set until 10pm. As an insomniac and night owl, it was a strong start. 

Spencer Thomas with his book in Paris
Image Courtesy of Spencer Thomas

The following weekend, I tagged along with a group of familiar acquaintances to a chateau that also operated as a nightclub. As the night dragged on, I sat alone on a purple velvet couch while my friends danced with European boys passing through town. “Why don’t you talk to any guys?” they asked me. 

“I don’t see anyone of interest,” I replied. 

And while my words did ring true, my answer was mostly fear-based. What if I did talk to a man in this very club and they took offense to my flirtation? This place wasn’t a queer club, or even a gay one, but my friend relayed that the internet said the club was “gay friendly”—whatever that means—and instead, I found myself anxious and fidgeting in the corner. In a way, my trepidation was a product of my own doing. 

It reminded me of a recent TikTok comment: “feeling unwelcome in a space isn’t a product of the people that surround the space.” And while sometimes our discomfort can be self-induced, for the most part, I would argue something differently. The people that form a space are the foundation for what the space becomes. In this specific case, it was a club exclusively for pairs of guys and girls. Even if I did find someone to kiss and hold for the evening, we wouldn’t fit the mold of the club’s foundation. There’s no room for queerness in a space defined by heteronormativity. 

The next weekend, we made the trek to the “gayborhood.” Upon our entry to the area, immediately, an older gay man by the name of Timothy began chatting with us. He was holding a crepe in his hands and was licking the remnants of crumbs off his face. 

In a simple conversation about what brought us to the gayborhood, his words quickly turned sour and a fight erupted about trans-inclusivity and pronouns. Timothy had professed, as if he was a genius, “trans people are one problem, and the pronoun thing is a whole other—a problem not even worth paying attention to,” all while standing atop a rainbow crosswalk. 

It was a brief 10 minute interaction, but it speaks of a greater problem that isn’t indicative of just Paris: there are subsets of gay culture that are exclusionary of different types of queer people. Paris just happened to be a city, in my opinion, where these exclusionary norms felt very prominent.

It wasn’t until our final weekend that we found a place where we all felt comfortable as a group. We actually stumbled upon it by accident. We were heading to a club, and then, because we didn’t want to pay a cover fee, stumbled down a few alleyways until we found ourselves in the center of a gothic queer bar. 

Cigarette smoke engulfed the room and graffiti littered the black walls. A stuffed ram’s head was on top of an out-of-use fireplace. Only red candles illuminated the space, crusted layers of wax draping over old wine bottles. And throughout the room, queer joy could be felt. 

Men held each other tenderly in the corner. Couples danced in the center of the bar. Buzzcuts, ankle length dresses with black vinyl boots, and shredded jeans took over the periphery. It was also the first time in months I didn’t feel my gayness being at the forefront of my identity. It merely co-existed with the strangers in this small room, where anyone could be who they wanted to be, and no one would question them for it. 

When I said goodbye to Paris, I knew I’d miss those fleeting moments, like my experience in the dive bar, more than anything else. It was a place, for once, where I could breathe without worrying about fitting the stereotypical norms that plague gay culture. I felt more embraced by the community in this non-defined no-man’s land than the times I’ve spent at a gay bar looking for someone to be kind to me. My body, my personality, my entire being, were all enough in this queer world. 

Now in Manhattan, I walk back from the deli to my apartment. Pride month is alive across the avenue, and classic gay anthems echo from down the street. I can make out the mumbled words and melody of Diana Ross’s “I’m Coming Out.” I walk home to the beat of Ross’s words. 

“The time has come for me to break out of this shell,” she sings. 

And in a way, I feel like I’m breaking out of a new shell too. Perhaps I’ve been trying so hard to be part of a community, I’ve trapped myself in a shell of my own convention. Queerness, and the beauty of this undefined world, is its nature to reject such structure. If I am looking to feel accepted, maybe I need to stop seeking places that are always labeled as “gay friendly” and emerge into non-identified spaces that allow sexuality to exist without the need for specific standards. 

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve returned from Europe, and I’m no longer desperate to leave my neighborhood. It took my leaving New York to realize my way of life, my need for structure and boxes, has been holding me back. I have found a new sense of clarity, and now, at 21-years-old, I don’t need any labels to explain it. 

You can purchase Spencer Thomas’ debut book, Goodbye to Boyhood, on Amazon here.

Tolyamory: The common type of relationship you’ve never heard of

It’s likely the most common form of non-monogamy you’ve ever experienced, but most people never talk about it – tolyamory. 

What is tolyamory?

This neologism was coined by popular sex advice and relationship columnist, Dan Savage. You might know him for his other neologisms such as “santorum” or “pegging,” but now he’s talking about his latest term, “tolyamory.” He defined it as “someone willing to turn a blind eye to a lap dance or a brief affair after years of marriage.”

Something to be discussed is that it appears that the partner is only willing to put up with a certain amount of an affair. Tolyamory mainly applies to physical affairs, such as having sex or a sexual encounter. It is not an emotional connection with their lover, it is purely physical. Remember a tolyamorous relationship can only put up with so much.

Why does tolyamory happen?

A popular example of tolyamory is shown in the HBO series “White Lotus.” Daphne was aware Cameron was having an affair, yet despite knowing this information, she chooses to turn a blind eye and stay with him. 

Everyone knows that one couple, you know the ones who cheat on each other if they haven’t already. They move in together, buy a house, adopt a dog, have kids, and share every detail about their lives with each other. As a relationship progresses, both partners may realize that lifelong monogamy is unrealistic, yet they want to maintain this image of monogamy, so they end up in a tolyamorous relationship. Imagine your shock if you found out your partner had sex with someone. After building so much of your life together are you willing to throw it all away because your partner slept with someone?

Tolyamory within the gay community

As gay people, the concept of tolyamory might be a bit more nuanced. It’s common within gay culture to kiss friends and not be a romantic gesture. Many gay people are regularly kissing their friends and touching in general. The high-touch culture within the community is obvious when meeting friends as they kiss on the cheek and hug.

Lack of intimacy during sex

The way sex is viewed in gay culture could play a part in tolyamory within the gay community. Phrases such as “it’s just sex” could remain true until it isn’t. Until the person you’ve spent the better part of a decade starting a family with, buying a house together, advancing in your respective careers with has sex another man. It’s no wonder that after investing so much into a relationship, it might prove to be more effective to stay together rather than confront your partner about their one-night stand. 

Lack of financial freedom

The financial struggle of separating might also deter people from wanting to break up in the first place. Think of the stereotypical “U-Haul lesbians” for example. This idea that gays are so willing to move in together that they rent a U-Haul at the speed of light to commit to each other, but with rising costs of rent within gayborhoods, it’s no wonder why couples might be more willing to forgive and forget their partner for giving a blowjob or tribbing another woman. 

Loneliness within society

The pervasive loneliness of today’s society can also be a contributing factor. Going online you’ll find many people on TikTok ranting about how the dating landscape is terrible, sharing their worst date horror stories and drama online. Given the uncertainty of what dating might look like for someone who just found out about their partner’s lap dance, they might choose to stay, forgiving their partner’s infidelity rather than confronting them to lose out on what they’ve already spent so much time building. 

Takeaway

Gay culture is the perfect culture to allow tolyamory to flourish. Gay couples who want to keep up an image of being together in a world of Grindr hookups and high divorce rates can easily find themselves in a tolyamorous relationship when they find that relationships are hard.

Phillip Collins is helping spread Good Black Art across America 

Phillip Collins, the founder of Good Black Art,  experienced a different reality from the American dream growing up as a Black gay man in the South. As a result, he had two main goals in life: to study marketing and to live abroad.

After graduating from Elon University in 2008 with a degree in International Marketing and a minor in African-American Studies, he moved to Shainghai, China, where he lived for nearly five years. He then moved to Hong Kong for a little over four years.

A Black gay man in Asia blends in just as much as it sounds, yet he was welcomed with open arms. 

“I wasn’t dealing with racism or homophobia. I was living as an American man in another country, and there was privilege to that,” says Collins. 

Throughout his career, Collins has helped companies put their best foot forward. “I was taking legacy products, like Ford, Lincoln, Disney, and GE, and expanding them into new markets,” he says. “But let’s fast-forward to 2017 when I moved back to the US and settled in New York—that’s when my life took a significant turn.”

Collins says he learned about the concept of reverse culture shock and discovered how real it truly is. Navigating his identity in Corporate America, he also faced the challenge of reconnecting with friends and family who remembered a very different person from ten years ago.

“I had to honestly relearn who I was and face the trauma I ran away from growing up queer and Black in the South,” he says. “Creativity has always been how I’ve gotten through tough situations, and that’s when I really got interested in art.”

Before returning to America, Collins was helping UBS lead their sponsorship program for Art Basel in Hong Kong. This opportunity allowed him to get a foot in the door of the art world and develop an interest, even if he didn’t fully identify with the stories being told.

“New York gave me access to art I could connect with on an emotional level, and I could understand the context in a much richer way,” says Collins. “I decided I wanted to be a collector, but I couldn’t figure out where to buy art that fit my budget, which was around $200 to $1,000 at that time. There wasn’t anywhere I could learn about becoming an art collector and truly understand how the ecosystem works.”

Like many people who couldn’t find the community they were looking for in the real world, Collins went on the internet, specifically Instagram, to search for Black artists doing work that spoke to him. 

“I started reaching out to them, sending them messages, and building relationships with them. And that led to me buying directly from artists,” he says. “My first artist was PJ Harper, a sculptor and painter outside of Glasgow, Scotland, specializing in themes of afro-futurism.”

Over time, he and his partner developed an impressive collection, catching the attention of their friends. His skills as an art collector were evident as the artists he gravitated towards continued to excel in their own craft, gaining major exhibitions, awards, and press.

During a Masterclass with actress Issa Rae called “Creating Outside the Lines,” Collins became attuned to his life’s calling. He realized the importance of helping others like him, who lacked the background, gain access to Black art.

“She basically said, ‘If you have the tools and resources to change a problem, and you choose not to, then you’re part of the problem,'” says Collins. “There was no platform for people like me to find art, so I knew I had to create it.”

Good Black Art was launched on August 26th, 2021. It is the first and only tech-enabled company that provides a full-service platform dedicated to art by emerging Black artists.

“Since we started, we have worked with over 80 artists globally, 14 different markets, and four different continents,” says Collins. “Now that we’ve built a solid strategy, we’re really going into accessibility.  We’re defining accessibility in a few different ways, but one of those ways is geographic diversity.”

The art curator notes that over 50% of the world’s art transactions happen in New York City, which is no surprise to anyone in the art world. A significant reason for this is the high costs associated with moving fine art safely. However, talented artists all over the globe could achieve greatness if they had access to proper exposure.

Collins wanted to empower connectivity and redefine who could be an art collector, emphasizing that it’s not just for the wealthy. He believes that by investing even a few hundred dollars, people can start collecting art that will appreciate in time. His team focuses on education and raising awareness beyond well-known names.

“Paintings are always going to be prioritized and valued,” says Collins. “But we recognize that many artists work in incredibly unique and diverse mediums, and we want to create a space where they can create, showcase, and sell their work.”

Good Black Art aims to convert 10% of Black and African American consumers into collectors, with an average spend of $1,000 per year.

Although Collins now enjoys a diverse range of identities and stories within his personal collection, he remembers that when he first began, there was a lot of figurative work featuring Black males and themes from the gay community. 

“I don’t think I loved myself when I started at 32, but as I turned 33 and 34, I developed a more profound sense of self-love. I credit art and the beginning of my collection for helping me find my strength.”

 Discover Good Black Art at GoodBlackArt.com and on Instagram @GoodBlackArt